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Duterte inauguration: Meet your new First Family
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About two weeks before the May 9 elections, a socialite’s father died, and as the “alta” society of Manila gathered at the Forbes church wake, some guests were seen and overheard showing members of the Duterte family on their phones, laughing, mocking and basically saying, this is the first family you’re going to get if you vote for Duterte.

Today I made it a point to take my day off, stay in bed and watch the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte on TV.
I was surprised to see how dignified the family looked—as they put it on Twitter, “They cleaned up well.”

Duterte inauguration
L-R: Paolo, Sara, President Duterte, ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, Sebastian Duterte

My friend Grace has always said she likes the face of Sara Duterte, who looks butch on a regular day with her shaved hair and tattoos. Today she looked so elegant in her blue terno. I like her so much, I’m already thinking Sara Duterte for President, 2022. The same Sara who notoriously punched a sheriff at a demolition site. This woman has balls.

Duterte inauguration
Duterte children in the Palace, including youngest Kitty (from the President’s partner, Honeylet Avanceña)

“It feels so good that the President and the family is actually representative of the demographic of the modern Pinoy today,” observed my friend James from Hong Kong. “Some are local and some are mixed. Some with divorced or separated parents. So refreshing,” he added.

Duterte inauguration

Basically you have relatable people in the family. Not “alta”, and even though not decent by others people’s standards, we’re liking this family.

Duterte inauguration

Generations of Duterte women

duterte women

The President arrives with his partner Honeylet and daughter Kitty

Duterte family

I’ll admit that I’ve been waiting for June 30 for a long time.
When Duterte first announced he would have a simple oath taking in Malacañan if he wins, I already wanted to vote for him.
Recently, I had lunch with a friend of mine in the catering business, who groaned when he heard that the food served at the inauguration would be maruya.
Truthfully, I had to Google maruya. It seems to be a delicious banana fritter. Yum.

maruya

I felt sad when Noynoy left the Palace and didn’t stay behind for the ceremony.
I stopped playing Candy Crush when Duterte took his historical first steps as President on the staircase of Malacañan.
I loved the acapella singing of the National anthem, and I cringed on my shabu-shabu lunch when Freddie Aguilar sang.
But when Duterte said his speech, I just had to catch my breath and cry a little.

“I thought the speech was brilliant and to the point. No frills and plain spoken,” said my friend Grace. “I like how the whole event set the tone—from inauguration to the speech to the first family’s demeanor,” she added.

Teddyboy tweet

Read the full text of inaugural address HERE.

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Why Wells Adams makes us swoon*
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Anyone watching The Bachelorette? I am, and my husband is apalled.
After being married more than 15 years, my dear husband is still discovering things about me that shock him. Three years ago he was surprised to find out I liked chicken curry while waiting at the airport lounge in Singapore. He had never seen me eat curry, much less, enjoy it.

Now he is shocked that I’m watching The Bachelorette because he thinks the show is so dumb. Well it is, and I lovett. 🙂

Bachelorette

In it, the bachelorette gets to choose who she wants to end up with among 26 guys. Imagine 26 guys who want to date you and you get to MOMOL who you want.
I only started watching because I ran out of shows to watch. Prior to this I watched The Bachelor for the first time, which made me cringe. The only reason I started watching was because I kept seeing the cringy face of Ben Higgins on this banner ad. So not my type.

Bachelor

But after watching a few episodes, I was hooked. Now I am obsessed and my husband hates it when I watch the show.
The current bachelorette is JoJo Fletcher, who was dumped by Bachelor Ben for another woman in the season finale.
Physically, I think JoJo is cute. But personality wise, I find her so typical (I won’t say the Tagalog word here because I’ll get bashed) and I think she is going to choose the wrong guy which is Jordan.

Jordan Rodgers

She will choose Jordan Rodgers because he is the sterotype American crush—tall, hunky football player with the good hair. Plus, his brother, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a celebrity who is engaged to actress Olivia Munn.
What ambitious American girl wouldn’t be starstruck with that?

Personally, I think she should choose Luke Pell, because they have real chemistry. Please choose Luke!!

Luke Pell

But my personal favorite is who is the only guy I would date on the show and I am swooning as I write this—Adam Pells:
1) Because he looks like a crooner (think Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr.)

Wells Adams

2) Because he’s tall and skinny.
3) He’s one of the few contestants who isn’t a lumbersexual.

4) He brought a barbershop quartet to serenade JoJo on the first night

Wells Adams

5) He hid his body in a suit during the pool party where all the bachelors were showing off pecs. But when he undressed for his pool date with JoJo, his body wasn’t bad at all.

6) Because I love old fashion. He never made a pass of on her and was the last guy to kiss her, and only when she insisted. That’s when she decided they had no chemistry and said goodbye.

My guess is, JoJo was never his type anyway. I was so sad when she dumped him yesterday because he’s out but happy when I found out he will be appearing in another shallow show, the Bachelors in Paradise spinoff in August, so yay!! My husband is going to hate this news.

Meanwhile, I can just stalk him on Twitter and Instagram. #pogi

READ: An Ode To The Only Man On ‘The Bachelorette’ You’d Want To Date

*Because JoJo is not his type

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Fashion and medical advice from the Hensons
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I’ve known Gerard Henson since high school but didn’t know we were relatives until I saw his family at the Grand Zamora reunion in 2013.
Gerard wasn’t actually at the reunion because he was in Tokyo with his wife Tere and children Rafa and Gabbie.
Like the van Stratens, the Hensons make a bi-annual pilgrimage to Tokyo. The love of Tokyo—that’s where we found an instant connection.
Gerard and Tere are two of the kindest and most fashionable doctors you will ever meet. Gerard is a surgeon, while Tere is an OB-Gyne.

Dr. Tere Henson
Dra. Henson on her day off

Last week, my son had a medical emergency. I took him to Dr. Gerard to remove a cyst on his wrist.
Dr. was awfully kind explaining the situation on a Boogie Board, that my son’s fears quickly melted away.

Markus and Dr. Henson

My son is in his school’s varsity basketball team, but I still get nervous every time he comes home with a symptom. Last night he had chest pains which he rated 6/10. I was on the verge of taking him to the ER when I decided to do a quick text to Dr. Henson.

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The funny thing is, at the same time, Dra. Henson was also texting me about a completely different topic:

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It came at the right time because I was having my own fashion emergency and getting bored with my own closet. So after giving my son Alaxan and sending him to bed two hours later, I googled Off-White by Virgil Abloh and found a genius.

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Would never have found Off-White if not for Dra. Tere, who also taught me the joys of Isetan Shinjuku and Marques Almeida.
I am grateful for these two.

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Bond with your kids with “Miracles From Heaven”
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I love watching movies with my boys. Ben, 14, appreciates anything I watch—including Tagalog and subtitled movies.
He’s kind of deep like that. Ben and I used to cuddle in bed while watching movies with headphones, but his dad is a light sleeper. Plus Ben is already 5’10” and occupies so much space.

Markus (12) on the other hand, prefers more age-appropriate movies.
After having enjoyed Heaven Is For Real, which is about a young boy who dies, sees heaven, and comes back to life, my boys have been looking forward to Miracles From Heaven, which recently became available on iTunes.
Chris and Jeroen weren’t interested, so Ben, Markus, and I plopped into bed and watched this movie.

Miracles from heaven

I thought I’d be playing Candy Crush while watching, but I found myself drawn to the true story of a young girl (Annabel Beam) who is diagnosed with a motility disorder which has no cure. I could truly relate to her ordeal because 12 years ago, I was confined at St. Luke’s Hospital for what was initially suspected as a motility disorder. It turned out I had adhesions after two C-sections and a myomectomy (long story).

Like Annabel, I also had a nasogastric tube from in my nose-throat-stomach for more than a week. The pain was unbearable, I wished myself death—except I had two babies and a husband I had to live for.
Twelve years later, I have to remind myself I’m so lucky to be alive and healthy.
If you’re a parent, you can certainly relate to the torture of seeing your kids suffering and bargaining with God when they are sick.

I have no daughters, but I’m glad to have boys who can watch movies like this with me, even if it is the story of a girl and is Christ-centered. Keep the tissues nearby. I cried three or four times.
If you have kids and believe in miracles, I highly recommend the movie, even though some parts may be cheesy. Try to see the movie as a whole and not focus on the cheesy parts. 🙂

To know more, go to http://www.miraclesfromheaven-movie.com/

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